11/14/18 O&A NYC DANCE/HEALTH AND WELLNESS: Dance Of The Village Elders Present Santa’s Babies

Dance Of The Village Elders presents their annual Christmas Concert/fundraiser appropriated titled Santa’s Babies. The performance will take place on Saturday, December 1, 2018, 4pm at St. Philip’s Church located at 204 West 134 Street in the village of Harlem. The concert title is an homage to the indomitable spirit of the Village Elders; who have made Eartha Kitt’s Christmas classic, Santa Baby, into their signature holiday work. 

Dance Of The Village Elders; founded by Monique Hedmann, and initially funded by and housed at Harlem Hospital, ran from 2010 through 2015. When the funding ended so did the program. “After working together for five years we developed a bond”, says present director and primary instructor Walter Rutledge. “We couldn’t just stop working together. We had become family.”

In 2016 St. Philip’s Church came to the rescue offering the program a new home- a sanctuary. The Harlem landmark, which remains a progressive pillar in the community, understood the need to provide quality of life programs to its constituents and the city’s growing senior population. The program is a fitness/dance regiment designed to address the physical changes and challenges facing our adult population. With music from the 50’s to present day that crosses all genres the Dance Of The Village Elders provides a nurture and holistic approach to senior fitness, fellowship and fun.

Dance Of The Village Elders calls itself a dance cooperative. At present this fledgling fitness experiment receives no public funding. The funds collected from the two annual fundraisers (one in December and the other in the spring) offsets operating and equipment costs and provides a small honorarium for instruction. “Eventually the fundraising will find us. Until then we are going to keep moving forward regardless”, say Rutledge.

The Christmas performance Santa’s Babies will include performances by standout Harlem guest artists. Vocal phenom LaFredrick, inspirational speaker Rev. Tykim Stallings, organist Charles Lovell and the Uptown Dance Academy  join the Village Elders for an uplifting afternoon of dance, music and community. There will be a reception/fellowship immediately following the performance. Light refreshments will be served.

The suggested contribution is ten dollars. Tickets can be purchased at the door 30 minutes prior to the performance, or before and after the weekly class at St. Philips Church on Thursday between 1:30 and 4pm. For more information contact Walter Rutledge via email at waltersworld365@gmail.comor call (917) 744- 2601.

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